Kaleidoscopic costumes flutter down the streets, and the clunking of cowbells and whistles greet you at every turn; Junkanoo Carnival is a mass celebration of life and freedom that takes to The Bahamas’ streets each year.
Celebrate in the Streets
Originating several centuries ago, it is believed that slaves in plantations celebrated the holidays granted to them with music, dance and costumes, with Junkanoo now occurring around Christmas, New Year, and summer due to its popularity. A blend of local arts, culture, pulsating beats and national entertainers, the carnival collates Bahamians with visitors, tradition with modern life, and young with old, over a series of celebrations. Shake up the streets of lively Nassau at the Junkanoo Road Fever, a myriad of colour infused with the rhythms of bugles and goatskin drums, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Feel the Beat
Music is the driving force behind Junkanoo, starting with Junkamania in Da Cultural Village of Nassau, this year on 5th May 2016! Inspired by folk forms such as drumming and dance, this vibrant concert of orchestras is a platform for exciting sounds, traditional instruments and a buzzing Caribbean-esque atmosphere. Music Masters continues the party with the biggest concert of the carnival, showcasing both top Bahamian as well as international artists who battle it out to be crowned Master of the Bahamian Sound. This year, the streets of Nassau will be pulsing to the beats of Grammy award winning hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean alongside reggae sensation Tarrus Riley.
Taste the Caribbean
To try some of the best local Bahamian food, visit during Junkanoo when food stalls assemble on the street-side and on the beachfront, blanketing the towns with the scent of conch fritters, fiery grills and rum cake. Spicy, subtly and uniquely flavoured with local meats and produce, you’ll find rock lobster, stew fish and conch salad, alongside the more familiar like macaroni cheese and sweet cocktails! Why not try the five star AAA 4-diamond restaurant at Graycliff? Nestled within a historic 18th century mansion, your meal may be accompanied with a fine wine and completed with one of the house-rolled cigars. Whether it’s for finger food and quick snacks, or a fine dining experience under the stars, Nassau provides every type of eatery to suit your appetite.
Swim with Pigs
When you’re not being entranced by the colourful costumes or getting down to the sound of local Bahamian music, why not escape Nassau for a day and experience something new? Pigs might not be able to fly (yet!) but they can certainly swim! Take a boat trip to The Exumas, where the clear, aquamarine waters are home to splashing snouts and paddling piggies. Harbour Safaris takes you on an exhilarating 2.5 hour boat trip from Nassau to the inviting beaches that these fascinating animals call home. As you arrive, they’ll come splashing out from the sands, through the crystalline waters and eagerly swim around you, showing off their skill and hoping you may have brought them an edible treat! The day continues on to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club for a delicious lunch and meeting with some nurse shark friends, before heading out to Allen’s Cay where you’ll get to greet the Bahamian Rock Iguanas.
Soak Up the Sun
Life is better with bare feet, and The Bahamas promises toes-in-the-sand relaxation on its thousands of idyllic islands and cays. If lounging on the beach, watching the kids splash around in the glittering waters and being waited on with tropical cocktails and canapes sounds up your street, then Atlantis Paradise Island ticks almost every box; while the adventurous snorkel the Ruins of Atlantis and the budding marine biologists become Dolphin Trainer for a Day, you may unwind on the shores of seven-acre Paradise Lagoon.